How To Cook Turkey Thigh Recipes – 3 Recipes

Author: Jenny J. Brown
July 28, 2023

Are you looking for new ways to cook turkey thighs? Or maybe you want to try something different from your chicken or beef recipes? Well, here are some 3 recipes to get you started.

Turkey thighs are leaner than chicken breast meat and tend to be less moist. They also contain significantly fewer calories per serving, making them a better choice for those watching their waistlines. You can cook turkey thighs using any method.

Some methods include roasting, sautéing, grilling, baking, poaching, stewing, braising, barbecuing, deep frying, smoking, and microwaving. There are also plenty of ways to prepare them without heating, such as stir-frying, curried dishes, and soups.

What is Turkey Thigh?

Turkey Thigh
  • Save

Turkey thighs are a great source of lean protein and iron but contain some fat. However, cooking them properly helps reduce their fat content and makes them healthier overall. This article will show you how to cook turkey thigh recipes perfectly.

Turkey contains B vitamins, selenium, zinc, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, it has less saturated fat than beef or pork, and its high fiber content keeps you feeling full longer.

How to make Turkey Thigh?

The best way to make turkey thighs is to marinate them overnight in soy sauce, honey, garlic powder, salt, pepper, onion powder, and cayenne pepper.

After marinating them for at least 2 hours, place them into a hot pan with some oil until golden brown. Then add cheese, bacon bits, and ranch dressing mix. Cook for another 10 minutes or so, then serve.

Do I Have to use Only Thigh for the recipe?

This recipe allows you to use various chicken parts, such as breasts, drumsticks, or wings. However, please remember that the time needed to cook the chicken will vary according to your chosen cut.

Equipment You’ll Need

This recipe requires a large ovenproof skillet, such as a cast iron skillet. Use two pans if your pan isn’t big enough for the chicken thighs. It would help if you had a cutting board and another large bowl. Make sure you keep all ingredients at room temperature.

Recipe-1: Oven-baked

  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 35 min
  • Serving: 6 people
  • Cooking Difficulty: Easy
  • Cuisine: American
  • Course: Main course
  • Calories: 403 calories

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1thigh Calories: 403kcal (20%) Carbohydrates: 8g (3%) Protein: 25g (50%) Fat: 30g (46%) Saturated Fat: 7g (44%) Cholesterol: 148mg (49%) Sodium: 563mg (24%) Potassium: 322mg (9%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 6g (7%) Vitamin A: 143IU (3%) Vitamin C: 1mg (1%) Calcium: 18mg (2%) Iron: 1mg (6%)


  • Thighs from two chickens, skin and bones included;
  • salt and pepper to taste;
  • For Sauce
  • Four teaspoons of butter
  • One tablespoon of mustard and one tablespoon of whole-grain dijon mustard
  • Honey, 2 Tablespoons
  • Six minced garlic cloves 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.


  1. Turn the oven temperature up to 425 degrees F.
  2. Spread the chicken thighs in a basin and season them with salt and pepper.
  3. In a tiny bowl, mix all the sauce ingredients.
  4. Smother the thighs in sauce and mix thoroughly.
  5. Put the chicken thighs and any extra sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. There’s no need to oil the pan.
  6. The chicken thighs should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit and crispiness to the skin after being baked in the oven for about 35 minutes.
  7. Put the chicken on a platter, tent it with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe-2: Air fried

Air fried turkey thigh
  • Save
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Serving: 20 meatballs
  • Cooking Difficulty: Easy
  • Cuisine: American
  • Course: Main course
  • Calories: 52 calories

Nutrition Information

  • Calories 52Calories from Fat 18
  • Fat 2g3%
  • Cholesterol 14mg5%
  • Sodium 141mg6%
  • Potassium 97mg3%
  • Carbohydrates 1g0%
  • Protein 6g12%
  • Vitamin A 705IU14%
  • Vitamin C 0.7mg1%
  • Calcium 16mg2%
  • Iron 0.3mg2%


  • As for the chicken, I’m using two pounds of bone-in, skin-on thighs.
  • Seasoning salt and pepper for flavoring and spicing.
  • Olive Oil: I like to use olive Oil since it has a mild flavor that complements the chicken.
  • Mustard – I’ve got yellow and Dijon grainy mustard in my fridge.
  • Honey is a flavorful component.
  • Six minced fresh cloves of garlic.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons or one fresh clove.
  • For more heat, sprinkle on some red pepper flakes.


  1. Start by setting the air fryer temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare the chicken and sauce per the recipe’s directions, and brush the chicken with the sauce.
  3. Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer, skin side up, in the basket of an air fryer.
  4. Brown and cook the chicken in an air fryer for 18 to 20 minutes.
  5. The chicken thighs are done when an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Recipe-3: Deep Fried

Deep Fried
  • Save
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Serving: 8
  • Cooking Difficulty: Easy
  • Cuisine: American
  • Course: Main course
  • Calories: 530 kcal

Nutrition Information

Calories: 529.65kcal Carbohydrates: 28.64gProtein: 33.03gFat: 30.61gSaturated Fat: 8.81gCholesterol: 173.2mgSodium: 630.71mgPotassium: 492.33mgFiber: 1.17gSugar: 3.28gVitamin A: 502.54IUVitamin C: 0.46mgCalcium: 87.9mgIron: 2.74mg


  • Marinade in buttermilk
  • One Fluid Ounce of Buttermilk
  • 1/4 of a cup sugar 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 g of dried garlic, 1 tsp
  • 1/4 of a fresh onion
  • Black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Half a dash of cayenne pepper
  • A pinch of paprika
  • Thighs of chicken weighing three pounds, skinned and boned
  • For making bread
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • Half-teaspoon of salt
  • One-fourth of a teaspoon of pepper
  • Paprika, one teaspoon
  • Food-grade corn oil for frying


  1. Put the chicken thighs in a marinade.
  2. Chicken thighs should be washed and dried with a paper towel before cooking.
  3. Mix the buttermilk, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and paprika in a large basin. Then, whisk it thoroughly.
  4. Afterward, immerse the chicken thighs in the buttermilk marinade for at least 30 minutes and no more than 4 hours (the longer, the better).
  5. Roll the dough in flour.
  6. In the meantime, in a large basin, mix the all-purpose flour, salt, pepper, and paprika for the flour dredging.
  7. The chicken thighs should be dredged in the flour mixture and then set on a baking sheet for at least 30 minutes. With this time, the chicken thighs will have a chance to absorb the flour coating.
  8. Prepare the chicken by first frying it and then baking it.
  9. Heat a heavy-bottomed pot with a couple of inches of corn oil over medium (350 degrees F). Next, brown the chicken thighs in a hot pan. Then, put them on a baking sheet underneath a wire rack in the oven.
  10. The chicken thighs should be finished in an oven preheated to 380 degrees for 40 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads 165 degrees F. A meat thermometer is necessary to determine whether it’s done.

How do I know when my chicken is done?

Using a meat thermometer is the only surefire method of checking whether or not the chicken is cooked all the way through. The internal temperature of cooked chicken should register between 165 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit on a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the bird.

Due to the minerals in the bones, whole chicken on the bone might sometimes be somewhat pink even after being cooked for the recommended amount of time.

Why Should you choose this item?

Fewer micronutrients are found in turkey, yet it still has many of the same health benefits as chicken. Turkey is an excellent source of lean protein, with only 170 calories and 21 grams of protein per 4-ounce serving.

Maintaining muscle mass is impossible without protein, which is crucial for cell structure, metabolic function, and nutrition delivery.

B vitamins, especially niacin (B6), are abundant in Turkey. Niacin is essential for the body to produce energy and communicate with its cells. In addition, it’s a great source of selenium, a mineral that plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy metabolism.

What should I serve with the recipe?

A picnic without fried chicken isn’t complete, and neither is a Sunday supper without it. So my family and I enjoy a robust lunch of fried chicken thighs, mashed potatoes prepared in advance, green garlic beans, and homemade biscuits.

Hot or cold, these fried chicken thighs satisfy your hunger, making them ideal for picnics and other outdoor gatherings. Serve with traditional American accompaniments such as Creamy Walnut Coleslaw, Fruit Salad, Lemon Herb Red Potato Salad, Bacon Green Bean Salad, and Creamy Cornbread Casserole.

Things you should avoid

When cooking Turkey thighs, avoid adding too much onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, sage, bay leaves, black peppercorns, and nutmeg. These ingredients can mask the flavor of the meatballs, making them bland.

Also, do not use all butter when you saute the meatballs. Instead, use only half the butter and add some olive oil. This will prevent the meatballs from sticking together, which would be difficult to break apart once cooked.

How to Store?

Any leftover fried chicken should be stored in a sealed plastic bag or container in the fridge. They can be kept for up to four days without becoming bad.

To reheat the fried chicken, place the pieces on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for around 20 minutes. Raising the temperature will keep the crispness for longer.

The chicken can be frozen after it has cooled completely and stored in an airtight container or freezer bag. Use within four months of freezing for optimal quality. Refrigerate overnight to defrost, then reheat as directed above.

The safest way to thaw a frozen whole turkey or frozen turkey pieces is in the refrigerator. One day of thawing is required for every four pounds of frozen poultry. Plan, especially considering the time needed to brine the turkey.

Expert Tips about the recipe

  • One frequent technique for preventing fried chicken breading from flaking off is to let the chicken lie on a baking sheet after cooking.
  • If you’re dredging the chicken in buttermilk and flour, dust off any excess before patting it dry. After shaking off the excess flour, pat the chicken dry before cooking.
  • Make sure the chicken is not overcrowded in the pan when frying it. Crowding the oven will lower the temperature, preventing a golden, crisp surface from forming.
  • If you have a lot of chicken thighs to fry, you might knock off the breading when you flip the one next to it.
  • Top-Rated Frying Oil – When frying meat, selecting an oil with a high smoke point is essential.
  • Corn oil is my go-to because it’s cheap and delicious. But other fats like peanuts, avocado, and safflower can be used instead.
  • If you want to remove the thigh bone, lay the Thigh on the cutting board so the bone faces up. Cut tightly along the length of the thigh bone on both sides using the point of a sharp knife, such as a boning knife. When the bone is visible on both sides, you can cut along its length by sliding the knife under it. Remove any excess sinew or cartilage from your thighs.
  • Turkeys from certain popular grocery brands are pre-brined. Look for “salt” or “salt solution” on the label. If your turkey has already been brined, omit the salt from the buttermilk marinade and keep it in the flour coating.
  • Because of the temperature differences that occur while frying in batches, a deep-fry thermometer is essential for preparing poultry like turkey or chicken. Before frying a new set, increase the oil temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and keep it there throughout the frying process.
  • Do not crowd the pan; this will cause the oil temperature to drop, making for a soggy, greasy crust.
  • An instant-read thermometer is the most reliable method for determining when something is done cooking. Turkey should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want an exact temperature reading from the drumstick, keep the thermometer away from the bone.

Suggestions for Preparation

  • The fried boneless turkey pieces can be used to make the best turkey club sandwich with any leftovers, or you can try any of the other delicious recipes below.
  • The spice mixture can be prepared a week ahead of time and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • The day before, prepare the seasoned flour in a baking dish. (The buttermilk mixture should not be added until the food is ready to be cooked.) Store unrefrigerated and covered.
  • Since bringing a turkey for 8 hours overnight, you should do the prep work the day before. Maintain cold storage.

How long does it take to cook?

Cooking turkey thighs takes about 60 minutes to marinate and tastes great. The key to cooking them is using a slow cooker. If you don’t want to use a slow cooker, you should preheat your oven to 350°F for 20 minutes. Then, place your turkey thighs inside the range for 10 to 15 minutes.

Reheating Turkey Chicken Without Overcooking It

  • Chicken can be reheated in several methods, but the two most frequent are the oven and the microwave.
  • Before putting anything in the oven, ensure it’s preheated to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and that a baking sheet has been lined with aluminum foil. Wrap the chicken tightly in aluminum foil by placing it in the middle and bringing the sides up (brushing with olive oil before wrapping in foil will also help keep the chicken crispy on the outside). Wait until the interior temperature reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • You can cook the chicken in the microwave by placing it in a dish that can withstand the high temperatures inside the microwave. Once more, brushing the chicken with olive oil will keep it juicy while it cooks. Microwave on high for 2–3 minutes, covered until the interior temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The chemicals from regular plastic wrap could leach into the chicken if you wrap it in it.


I noticed that using 99% lean turkey in this recipe makes the meatballs a bit drier, but they have less fat and are lighter.


If you use 94% fat ground turkey, these meatballs are juicy.


Don’t be alarmed by the extra fat that melts off while they bake. If you use 94% ground turkey, remove them from the pan, and wipe off any excess liquid.


Variations you can make

It’s simple to discover alternatives that will produce the same number of servings if you’re unable to locate or don’t want to utilize specific turkey parts.

  • You can adjust the seasonings to your liking. Try it with Cajun seasoning, lemon pepper, dry adobo, or your unique mixture of spices in place of the standard blend. Sometimes, you only need salt and pepper to make a delicious fried turkey.
  • For a peppery bite, add cayenne to the spice mix; for milder heat, consider Aleppo pepper or ancho chili powder. Adding hot sauce to the buttermilk brine adds a smoky, spicy flavor, but if you use a lot, you may want to cut back on the salt content.
  • Several alternatives to buttermilk can be used in its stead.
  • Use cornstarch instead of approximately a fourth of the flour for a more delicate crunch.
  • The turkey can be deep-fried in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot with about 2 inches of Oil. With this procedure, the turkey can be ready to eat sooner than usual, so keep an eye on it.

What Makes This Recipe So Great?

The crispy fried turkey thigh Recipe is great for those who love spicy food. The main ingredients include fresh ground turkey, cooked rice, cheese sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and crushed red peppers. This recipe has less fat than other recipes and is easy to prepare.

Why did I choose this recipe?

The crispy fried turkey thigh Recipe is delicious and healthy. This recipe has all the essential ingredients for a great meal – protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and fat. All these nutrients help keep you full longer and boost your energy levels. Also, with fewer calories and fat, you’ll feel fuller faster. This is my favorite to choose from again and again.  

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

1. Do I Need To Remove The Turkey Skin?

Although the skin adds flavor and texture to fried chicken, it may not be the most excellent choice for fried turkey because of its thicker, rougher consistency.

2. Does The Seasoned Flour Have A Hint Of Baking Powder?

If you follow the proportions in the recipe, the baking powder should be completely flavorless. Try switching to an aluminum-free baking powder if you have doubts.

3. To What End Are Eggs Being Used In A Buttermilk Brine?

Because of the eggs, the turkey stays coated. They help to cover.

4. How Do You Get Turkey Meatballs To Stick Together?

You can use breadcrumbs, egg yolks, and milk to make them more sticky.

5. How Do You Keep Meatballs Moist After Cooking?

You can store them in an airtight container for up to three days.


These turkey thighs are delicious, easy, and, best of all, made from the leftover turkey from your holiday dinner. You can make a big batch of these and serve them to your friends and family for your next party or freeze them for a quick and easy dinner. We hope you enjoy this recipe. Please share it with your friends and family, and if you make it, don’t forget to take a picture.  Also, you can try our panko chicken thigh recipe.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap